It's not too far to Bordeaux from Sarlat - I think 2 hours 20 minutes which is good. Wendy at Le jardin Sarlat where we are staying in Sarlat suggested that we stop in St Emillion for lunch. According to my book, Backroads of France St Emillion shouldn't be missed. That is 2 hours from Sarlat so very close to Bordeaux. On the way past St Emillion there is a town called Libourne which used to be an old wine trading port. The quays are full of cafes. Not sure if we'll have time to stop here as we want to get to the wine area of Bordeaux..
St Emillion has a wonderful bell tower and Place de l'eglise-monolithe which is lined with restaurants. There is a church in this square as well as a covered market. It has to be visited on foot and has steep narrow paved streets and small flights of stairs. From the top of the bell tower you get the most fantastic view over St Emillion and the vineyards but not sure how many steps there are to the top! There are a lot of cute little towns around St Emillion - some we will go through on the way to Bordeaux. They are Saint Sulpice de faleyrens, Vignonet, Saint ey d'armens,Sain Laurent des Comes, Saint - christophe des bardes, Saint Hipolyte. It's not far around these towns - 26km but we'll see how time goes. We will drive through some on the way. Saint Hipolyte sounds divine - you drive up a twisting road up from the Dordogne valley. It has a 16th -18th century chateau and a romanesque church set in the middle of vineyards. The views from here are spectacular.
Heading towards Bordeaux we plan to approach it from the north as there are some lovely sounding places, specifically Margaux and it's surrounding vineyards, before driving to bordeaux.
This is the route we have mapped out:
Margaux is 40 minutes from Bordeaux and is the start of the Bordeaux wine area. There are also some beautiful chateaux. We have to go to Chateaux Margaux as this is a huge place set at the end of a divine tree lined road and is in one of my books. There is also a little town called Macau that sounds cute - just on the way.
The Maison du vin et du Tourisme is on the edge of Margeaux - www.maisonduvindemargaux.com
I would like to go as far as Pauillac which is the capital of the Medoc wine growing area. I have google earthed this area and it looks divine - all the vineyards. The drive from Margeaux to Pauillac is only 23km.
Chateau Latour is here and Rothschild.
Bordeaux looks really lovely. There is a walk we can do that is set out in my book - DK eyewitness travel, the dordogne, Bordeaux and the Southwest coast. The walk is two hours (but it doesn't look that far really) and goes to all the sights. There seem to be lots of beautiful old buildings and lots of museums which we won't be going to but would like to see the Grand theatre, Eglise Notre-dame, Monument aux girondins as well as all the shops and restaurants along the river.It says in my book that whole quartiers have been pedestianised and there are quays that are long riverside walks. Would also like to go to the public gardens.
How nice does that look? I didn't realise that it's on a river until I started looking into it all.
This is the link on Bordeaux from trip advisor - about what to do and what to see and how to make the most of a short stay.
http://www.virtourist.com/europe/bordeaux/index.html - this a link to another website that has a walk on it too so will compare this one with the one in the book - just to make sure we don' miss anything.
Still have to find somewhere to stay. So now have that sorted - am staying L'Hôtel Particulier, a lovely little hotel right in the centre of Bordeaux. We have an apartment - 170E for 4 and 20E a night extra for person.